Another trip around the sun…. another year older and hopefully wiser. Hopefully. Hope.
This word that came to me as I was choosing my saint for 2017 (or was he choosing me?). I used the saint generator I use every year. Here it is… go ahead… find out who your saint is for 2017: http://saintsnamegenerator.com/
So the saint that was chosen for me was St Jude, the saint of desperate cases … the saint of the impossible!
I immediately thought to myself, oh no! Does that mean something horrible will happen to me this year and I will need his intercessory prayer? Aaaahhh! NO! … But as I read up on him I found out that he is the saint of HOPE. Oh good. Something I need; a soft, comforting word that I can wrap my mind and arms around. Great word. Hope.
I found a wonderful intercessory prayer to St. Jude about hope that I plan on reading every day of 2017:
“God the Father, give me hope. Help me to know that your hope is alive in me as I offer kindness, forgiveness, and tenderness to others. I seek the calm that comes from trusting in your hope and your healing presence. I trust that your servant St. Jude walks with me in all the blessings and challenges of my life, and intercedes on behalf of my petitions. St. Jude, fill my heart with hope. Amen.”
Last year was the year of Mercy… this year, for me anyway, is going to be the year of Hope.
Do I need hope? Sure, don’t we all? Was 2016 a bad year? Hmmm. Yes and no. As I look back on 2016 I am not deeply troubled as some people are… it seemed the end of the year many celebrities died and many people expressed (on Facebook) that 2016 was a horrible year… um… people die every year. I am more upset that my friend died unexpectedly and also my husband’s wonderful aunt lost her battle with cancer than I am with a variety of random celebrities dying …
2016 did not start off good… I spent the second half of my school year (as a special ed teacher) humbled and depressed, though, of course, my students were/are always a joy, that is not what ruined the end of my school year … I will not going into it now … just know that I will be careful how I pray in the future.
So this caused me to rethink my summer job. Every summer I worked as a teacher at Camp Connect, a camp for autistic students. So, though I loved doing that, I thought I needed a summer off because of the rotten end to my school year. Heck I’m a teacher and I have the ability to have summers off! I may as well take advantage of it! So I did. Bad thing about it~ no extra income coming in, so that was a bit of a struggle. But I am glad I rested and gave myself a break for once. Plus I was able to go to morning Mass. What a blessing.
One other major obstacle/hard ship that happened this year was our old, corroded pipes leaking and flooding the basement for months with horrific sludge. We finally got the pipes fixed and we cleaned up the basement… but that was a real nightmare for us for several months. NIGHTMARE. O.o … Owning a home… it seems that something always needs fixing… but I am grateful for this cute little house. Our home.
Good things? Sure, lots. Went camping off season (mid-June, right after school got out) with my husband and sons at Papoose Pond in Maine. I read several novels, rode my bike, swam and sat around the campfire. Bliss. Since I took the summer off I decided to get season passes for myself and the boys to Water Country a water park in Portsmouth, NH. We had a very sunny summer! One of the high points of the summer was my annual trip up to Gunstock in Gilford, NH for Soulfest a three day Christian rock concert. It was amazing this year. I finally got to see Skillet! They were awesome! The three days was a blast, always a good time! Most memorial moment during the weekend… the crazy storm/flood that happened during Saturday evening mass and ended as soon as mass ended. Wicked cool. Holy epicness. or Epic holiness?
Another bad/good thing that happened to me: winding up in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack in July … which in turn had me reassess my eating habits… and now I am down 15-20 lbs (though I probably gained some over Christmas). Keeping up that life style change.
One of the best things that happened this year was a successful Rachel’s Vineyard retreat for the newly formed (well…4 years) RV NH team. We had an amazing Holy Spirit filled weekend… probably because we had an army of angels, saints and friends (church militant!) praying for us… plus I soaked the outside of the retreat center with holy water. Haha. I am so blessed to be part of this ministry and to have such beautiful women in Christ as my friends. So thankful for them!
Probably the most important “good thing” that happened this year was the defeat of Hillary. Yes that defeat was HUGE for me. She had to lose… because I could not live under that gloomy, oppressive liberal cloud for another 4-8 years. As I went to bed the night of the election, not knowing what the outcome would be, sick and fearing the worst, I prayed and hoped and prayed for this country. I believe a lot of people prayed and many novenas were said! I was so overjoyed in the morning when my husband exclaimed, “He won!” that I literally wept. Thank you, Lord! If she had won 2016 would probably have been the worst year for me. Seriously. That was an early Christmas present. January 20th cannot come soon enough. Hope and change, baby!
Resolutions?… humph. I usually don’t like to make resolutions… but knowing that there is HOPE in my future no matter what happens I will make a few. First one: I will read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I had my oldest son buy it for me for Christmas; I have never read it and I believe it is an important work to have read before I leave this earth.
Resolution two: save money instead of spending it and getting horribly in debt. This is a big issue for me…
Resolution three…. Three? I better not keep adding more… I will surely fail if I have a big list. I suppose I can pray that I will become more Christ-like this year… this is something I need to do daily and not yearly.
Wait! Resolution four: blog more! I hardly blogged in 2016…
One more thing as I leave 2016 behind… there was a lot of great Christian rock that came out this year: Skillet’s new album was probably my favorite. Other favorites: Switchfoot, David Crowder, Kutless, Tenth Avenue North, Needtobreathe, Relient K, Thousand Foot Krutch, Unspoken, Decyfer Down, Newsboys, Rend Collective … I am sure I am missing some… great year for music. So I will end this year with one of my favorite songs of the year… all about hope… but of course.
Happy New Year! God bless.